A sweet journey to Singapore, where we discovered the gastronomical beauty of European Cream.
As part of the Cream of Europe campaign initiated by the French Dairy Interbranch Organization and the European Union, nine amazing chefs representing different countries of Asia and Middle East gathered at Singapore for a one of a kind three-day pastry experience this July.
The aim of this campaign is to raise awareness of French dairy cream, showing how the selection and use of the finest form of this ingredient can make all the difference in pastry making. Cream of Europe consists of many initiatives, geared towards pastry professionals but also in a way, a form of educating the patron’s palate.
As part of the campaign, a La Crème de la Crème annual recipe book is released. And previously, they would gather famous French chefs to contribute their own recipes. However, for 2016, they have decided to make an edition that pays homage to each country of the campaign. They invited Chef Ambassadors from each of the countries involved in the campaign to Singapore, with a challenge to create a version of a French classic dessert that pays homage and infuses with the culture they’ve come to represent.
The result was a collection of mind blowing desserts that left both our eyes and bellies satisfied but craving for more. What makes this event a truly unique experience is the collaborative spirit that the chefs brought to the table. Their creativity and passion for the ingredient and the dessert itself was simply inspiring to watch as it unfolded before us in the kitchen.
At the heart of the chefs’ ingenious adventure is the Saint Honore, a Parisian pastry, composed of a puff pastry base, on which is placed a circle of puff pastry, topped by caramel glazed choux pastry. The center of the choux crown is filled with Chiboust or Chantilly cream. Saint Honore is considered to be a pastry masterpiece—requiring a mastery of patisserie fundamentals and techniques.
The interpretations the pastry chefs came up served as an ode to the respective countries they represented. Our very own Saudi chef Mona Mosly, created a unique Baklava – St. Honore ensemble, which successfully melded middle eastern flavors while staying true to the essence of the pastry itself.
Chef Ludovic Audaux, Executive Pasty Chef at the Complex, Dubai, UAE did a take on the pastry that amalgamated his French origin with his Middle Eastern experience. The result was a St. Honore bearing seasonal cherries and a hibiscus insert with a white chocolate and rosewater ganache. “There is nothing comparable to the taste, texture and volume you can achieve by using French cream. Some think it does not make a difference. It’s all just cream. But once you taste it, you will know. The quality of European dairy cream is something that can bring out the best in your pastries. Regardless if you make Middle Eastern, even Asian, or whichever kind of dessert.”
Held at the amazing at-Sunrice Academy, the Cream of Europe event was culinary artistry at its best and the collaborative nature of it, a foodie diplomacy exercise. Apart from a recipe book that truly pays tribute to a wonderful ingredient and pastry; what has transpired in Singapore is a memorable exchange among peers, proving that food can truly bring nations together.
List of Chefs:
Chef Zhe Wei Hung
Executive Pastry Chef and Owner of Patisserie 15eme and L’appart
Chef Gerald Maridet
Executive Pastry Chef – Pullman Jakarta
- Hong Kong
Chef Jeffery Koo
Director & Executive Pastry Chef at Patisserie Jeffery Koo and Choco Koo Cooking Studio
Chef Terry Wang
Executive Pastry Chef – Park Hyatt Ningbo Hotel
Chef Mona Mosly
Executive Chef at Adel Abu Al Jadel and Jury at Taste
Chef Ludovic Audaux
Complex Executive Pastry Chef- Al Habtoor City Complex
Chef Hyunhee Lee
Executive Pastry Chef and Owner of DesserTree
Chef Frederic Oger
Executive Pastry Chef and Managing Director of the Pastry Institute of St. Honoré
Chef Pang Kok Keong
Executive Pastry Chef at Antoinette